Monday, December 7, 2009

Creating a Great 2010 and Beyond

Time magazine’s cover story of December 7, 2009 cover labeled the years 2000 to 2009 as “The Decade from Hell,” noting that:

“Bookended by 9/11 at the start and a financial wipeout at the end, the first 10 years of this century will very likely go down as the most dispiriting and disillusioning decade Americans have lived through in the post-World War II era. Call it the Decade from Hell, or the Reckoning, or the Decade of Broken Dreams, or the Lost Decade. Call it whatever you want—just give thanks that it is nearly over.”

Regardless of how your recent past has been, I’d like to suggest the following six commitments as the keys for achieving your goals in the years ahead:

1. Be Responsible

While this may be obvious, taking responsibility for our work lives is harder than it sounds. It begins with the recognition that we always have choices and it also reminds us to focus energy and attention on those things and actions over which we have control.

2. Stay Relaxed and Alert

Anyone who does an activity requiring hand and eye coordination will recognize how important this is to achieving excellent results. It also means developing a pace that honors the best interplay between important and urgent. And finally, as we work toward our goals, it is critical to stop and rest when needed.

3. Keep Your Goals Focused and Diffused

As important as it is to be focused, it’s also important to see that there is always more than one way to achieve our goals. Not only does this help us to be more creative when confronting inevitable barriers and challenges, but it also allows us to recognize that what’s right in front of us is often prelude to what’s ahead on our path.

4. Trust the Process

The journey toward our goals is best fueled by a disciplined approach to the process. Through focused attention on small and specific steps, a momentum is created that carries us forward. Furthermore, as we open ourselves to the process, we build our capacity to create elegant solutions for getting unstuck.

5. Keep Your Sense of Humor

The capacity to laugh as we work toward our goals allows us to experience joy along the way. It is recommended to have at least several good laughs a day, with one or more of those being a hearty laugh at ourselves, thereby keeping our sense of self-importance in check.

6. Allow for Moments of Inspiration and Awe

Taking time in our day for silence, meditation, or prayer allows us to become grounded in what’s ultimately most important, giving us an opportunity to experience our sense of the “bigger picture.” And, finally, stay open to those moments of grace and beauty that are around us all the time.

With these commitments firmly in hand, best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2010 and beyond.

Mark Guterman